Up a Lazy River


Here’s my quick rendition (recording and tab) to the head/melody of an old tune I’ve been intrigued with and practiced with for a long time. Learn more about it’s history here. Everything you hear on this track is my 8-string RAM Speak Easy lap steel playing in three tracks in Garageband all in C6/A7 tuning:

  1. Melody
  2. Rhythm
  3. Percussion

My execution is not 100 percent perfect but it is an accomplishment for me in several respects:

  1. I have most of the chords and melody correct by ear (without using my fake book or finding it online – though I did that later to confirm quality).
  2. The tab is my first venture into authoring steel tab (via Tabledit), and though Tabledit writes the music notation, I’m pretty new to notation so, I’m sure it’s a little bastardized. (Feedback welcome here!)
  3. I am fairly pleased to discover how well the melody lays out in this tuning.
  4. And I have taken small liberties in the that I consider “me” (whatever that means).

About the tab: 
I’ve included both the melody in tab and music notation as well as the rhythm track in tab. I’ve also included chords and numbers. (I try to think in numbers as much as possible.)

I think of this song’s form in two parts:

  1. The first part is a chord progression in fourths. A lot of old jazz and western swing tunes do this and when I stumbled upon this here it kinda blew my mind. (Damn, that’s cool!)
  2. The second part of starts on a IV chord (Eb) then a diminished (E) then a I (Bb), then a VI (G) and then goes into the ending (ii, V, I, VI) then repeating that ending.) The part with the IV, dim, I, VI is also a chord passage used a lot in old jazz and western swing tunes (Side by Side, My Window Faces the South.)

Tab-UpALazyRiver-C6A7_Page_1 Tab-UpALazyRiver-C6A7_Page_2Tab-UpALazyRiver-C6A7_Page_3

Download the PDF tab here

Download the TablEdit MIDI file here. Note that you can download the latest TablEdit player for free (and pay if you wanna author/edit your own tab for just about any stringed instrument.)

I’m super open to feedback. It’s how I learn. Let me know what I’ve missed. If this is helpful to anyone else that’s great, and if it’s not that’s fine. At least I feel I’ve taken a small step forward.

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Rose of San Antone

Here’s a tune that I should have already learned long ago. Especially since the band I play with has performed it regularly for a few years. Even though it’s an obvious western swing standard it’s really a great lesson.  A 32 bar head seems really long.